Teacher strikes continue as new pay offer awaited from Scottish Government & COSLA

Created on: 17 Jan 2023 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023

Teachers in North Ayrshire and Perth & Kinross were on the picket lines today, as the long-running dispute over teacher pay continues.

EIS members are currently engaged in a 16-day programme of rolling strike action across Scotland, with teachers in two local authorities on strike each day. There was a strong turnout on picket lines today, and at pay campaign demos in Irvine (North Ayrshire) and Perth (Perth & Kinross).

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, “We are on the second day of our programme of rolling strike action as we continue to urge the Scottish Government to Pay Attention to the need for a fair pay increase for Scotland’s teachers. The first teacher pay strikes in Scotland in four decades are a direct result of the failure of the Scottish Government and COSLA to negotiate a fair settlement for the country’s hard-working teaching professionals. They acknowledge that we are key workers and laud our contributions to the nation’s young people, yet consistently offer a record real-terms pay cut for Scotland’s teachers.”

Ms Bradley added, “Scotland’s teachers want to see this dispute settled, to allow full focus on education recovery and closing the poverty related achievement gap. It remains the case, however, that the Scottish Government and COSLA must come back with a new and improved pay offer that includes a significant amount of new money for Scotland’s teachers. We gained an overwhelming strike mandate from our members, who were greatly angered by the 5% offer – considerably below the rate of inflation – that was made some six months ago and then brought back to the table three months later. Since that time, we have heard plenty of talk from the Scottish Government and COSLA, but there has little action in terms of improvement to their offer. Our strike action will continue until a new, suitably improved and fair offer is put onto the table.”

The 16-day programme of rolling strike action involves schools in every local authority in Scotland, with teachers in two local authorities on strike each day for the next three weeks. Last Friday, the EIS announced a further 22 days of strike action, in addition to the current programme of action, should no satisfactory resolution be reached in the campaign for a fair pay settlement from the Scottish Government and COSLA. On Wednesday, the programme of rolling action will continue with teachers in Fife and Orkney set to strike.